By TRAVIS LOLLER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Methodist pastor who was disciplined after he officiated at the wedding of his gay son will be allowed to remain an ordained minister.
The Judicial Council of the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination ruled Monday that a Pennsylvania church jury was wrong to defrock Frank Schaefer last year after he would not promise never to perform another gay marriage.
The council ruled on technical grounds and did not express support for gay marriage in general.
Although the United Methodist Church has welcomed gay and lesbian members, the church’s Book of Discipline rejects sex outside of heterosexual marriage as “incompatible with Christian teaching.”
Since his church trial, Schaefer has become a gay rights activist who has galvanized other Methodists who support full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church.